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The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland (Practice and Procedure) Rules 2005

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Withholding documents or reports from disclosure in exceptional circumstances

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47.—(1) This rule applies to documents or reports received by the Tribunal where the Convener or the Tribunal is satisfied, that disclosure of all or any part of the contents of a document or report–

(a)may cause serious harm to the patient or any other person such that it would be wrong to disclose it to the patient or another person; but

(b)that in all the circumstances it would nevertheless not be unfair if the document or report or that part of it is considered by the Tribunal.

(2) The Convener or the Tribunal may appoint a person having appropriate skills or experience to–

(a)assess whether disclosure of the document or report to a patient or another person may cause serious harm; and

(b)report on the matter.

(3) The Tribunal shall pay to an expert appointed under paragraph (2) such an amount in respect of necessary expenses incurred in preparing and producing any report, as the President shall direct.

(4) Where the Convener or the Tribunal is considering the question of disclosure under this rule, the Convener shall invite the parties to make written representations on the matter within such period as may be specified by the Convener.

(5) At the request of any party in writing within that period, the Tribunal may afford the parties an opportunity to be heard either by the Convener alone or with such other members as the Tribunal may direct.

(6) After taking into account any representations made under paragraphs (4) or (5), the Convener or the Tribunal shall determine whether the document, report or any part of it, is not to be disclosed, and may direct that–

(a)the document or report may be considered by the Tribunal; and

(b)all or any part of its contents must not be disclosed to such persons as specified by the Convener.

(7) The Tribunal shall notify the representative of the patient or other person to whom the document, report or any part of it is not to be disclosed, that such a decision has been made, and the reasons for that decision.

(8) Where a decision is made not to disclose a document, report or any part of it to a patient and the patient does not have a representative to represent their interests, the Tribunal may appoint a curator ad litem under rule 55(1).

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